Milk and Kids: Overdoing it In the best advised families, for kids 6 months and older,moms understand that they come down on breastfeed, start feeding solids, and as a corollary somehow it means starting animal milk.All pediatricians across most of the world have to deal with growth failure in 6-18 month olds, caused by a diet of animal milk almost completely .Convincing moms to any different course appears almost anti- Indian, or as Frank J Oski wrote Anti-American. Drinking milk is so culturally ingrained, so clearly natural that many sportsmen's moms lecturing on the secret behind their superstar kids success speak of the volume of milk their kids gulp down. Be it MA Dhoni, or Virender Sehwag,the moms description of their star kids secret health ingredient is always about the number of cows they have, and the gallons of milk their darling kids gulped down. The stories make slight of the science of pediatric nutrition, different growth requirements at different ages and the little infants go straight from breast milk to cows milk!That animal milk has disadvantages is completely lost on them. Some milk facts are easy to put forth.Milk is a low caloric density diet. As the child shifts to a new growth trajectory he needs a diet richer than mom's milk and milk of a lower animal,though bigger, is a poor choice. The superior milk protein, and all the goodness is undone by the fluid's wateriness, and it's combination with a small stomach volume of a baby, gives too little of a good thing. A baby on exclusive milk diet is literally undergoing starvation-unknown to the mother.Milk of any animal is meant for it's baby,and for others it's unsuitable. Just like a fruit tree, you can't eat or digest it whole, but only a certain part/s like the fruit but not the leaves or stem, milk has every single component useful, but the concoction is a problem.Milk's protein is highest quality and bioavailability, if you extract it. Fat of milk as in butter or ghee is tasty, rich and nutritious but if you use it as butter/ghee. Drinking whole milk is like eating the sugarcane sticks to get sugar. Too much chaff! Milk has too much water. And a cache of minerals and elements of the animals immune system.To understand the harmful effects of the liquid phase of milk as different from just water,we have to get into a little scientific jargon. As an animal's body fluid, milk is not just cottage cheese and butter in plain water. It's actually a complex mix of antibodies and minerals and many types of cows cells like macrophages as in human milk.Among the minerals are calcium and phosphorus , albeit in a 2:3 ratio, that is phosphorus exceeds the calcium by one and a half measure. That ratio supports the animals brains electrical transmission, to run it's brains processing power. For the high calcium human brain, where the ratio is reverse 3:2, phosphorus in cows milk is too much. Phosphorus is not only toxic to us, not only it leeches our bones, our kidneys fight hard to throw it out,something young kidneys of under twos can't perform. The phosphorus builds up in the body and causes a build up of phosphoric acid which is a load on our alkali/ base resources which are depleted causing kids to be finicky eaters. Phosphorus needs to bind to something to render it harmless, it conveniently binds to calcium from kids bones, and this compound is neutral enough for excretion. Kids thus lose calcium on a milk diet rather than gaining it. Doctors of kids are frequently treating Rickets in excessively milk fed kids, on a regular basis.The other harm in feeding on milk, is that on the one side milk doesn't give any iron, the other is it is a powerful neutralizer of iron, so any iron supplements given to treat anaemia, is quickly sapped.Anaemia then kills whatever little appetite the kid has, and causes aversion to food. Appetite is killed by milk in another simple way,by just filling up the tummy, giving a feeling of fullness, and the high proteins causing satiety. Small volume tummies of six month olds could support the kids growth requirements, if high caloric density foods were taken, foods that are very calorie rich and small in volume. Milk is just the opposite too much volume, too few calories. This fills up the tummy, giving very few calories and too little of fat and protein for the maximum volume the kid can take in a day for all the hunger that he is left with, which is progressively diminishing.Animal milk early in life is linked to skin allergies, asthma, diabetes of kids, and low IQ, along with growth failure and rickets. Milk allergy and cows milk protien allergy, are other issues with milk in those affected so.My take is after 6 months start feeding solids, continue breast milk, start iron and calcium,use animal milk fat liberally, give milk proteins after the end of the age of sensitization, or 9 months, after about 2 years start a cup of whole milk twice a day, if you must.Posted 5th November 2011 by Dr Rishikant Ojha